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Recipe, Preparation, Serving, Food Cooking Menu

 

Celebrating A Milestone With Semi-Homemade Chef Sandra Lee

Remember the smell of freshly baked raisin oatmeal cookies when you were little? Chances are, sitting on the counter while your mother was baking them was a red box with the memorable image of a women in a red bonnet holding a tray of freshly picked grapes.

Celebrating A Milestone With Semi-Homemade Chef Sandra Lee

Remember the smell of freshly baked raisin oatmeal cookies when you were little? Chances are, sitting on the counter while your mother was baking them was a red box with the memorable image of a woman in a red bonnet holding a tray of freshly picked grapes.

Since 1916, the Sun-Maid girl has been in the hearts and homes of families across the country and she is receiving a digital makeover for her 90th birthday. In honor of the new, more modern look, celebrity chef Sandra Lee, of "Semi-Homemade" fame, has done a contemporary take on the traditional oatmeal cookie Recipe, Preparation, Serving, Food Cooking Menu and has helpful tips to freshen up any dessert. "I've been baking raisin oatmeal cookies since I was 9 years old and can still remember the delicious smell and taste from my childhood years. That's why I feel honored to put my own unique spin on this timeless and personally treasured classic."

Using Lee's shortcuts and savory secrets, even the busiest person can deliver marvelous meals, scrumptious snacks and decadent desserts in minutes. Some helpful tips from Lee on making your dessert memorable include:

• Focus on desserts that are big on flavor and low on labor and make sure they go from baking sheet to plate in mere minutes, giving you time to linger with those you love.

• Incorporating raisins and dried fruit into desserts is a great way to get your children to consume some of their daily required helpings of fruit.

• Consider measuring out dry ingredients before preparing desserts. Ingredients such as flour, sugar and nuts can be measured and placed in their own separate sandwich bags beforehand, and when you are ready to start cooking all you'll have to do is simply pour them into a bowl and cook. This is a great way to include kids in the kitchen, too.

• Desserts can be decorative. Place them center stage as an eye-catching edible centerpiece. One idea is to place your raisin oatmeal cookie bars around the rim of a large colorful plate. Place scoops of your guests' favorite ice creams, frozen yogurts and other toppings in the center of the dish, allowing them to create their own scrumptious version of this dessert.

"I remember growing up and baking with my grandmother, who always had Sun-Maid raisins for any occasion from snacking to baking. I do the same today with my nieces and nephews," said Lee. "They love Sun-Maid raisins and I love that they help to make many of my semi-homemade dishes even more delicious."

Try these tempting Spice Raisin Oatmeal Cookie Bars with your family after a fun semi-homemade meal of your own.

Sun-Maid Spice Raisin

Oatmeal Cookie Bars

You Will Need:

9x13" baking pan

Cooking spray, butter-flavored

Large mixing bowl

Electric mixer

Ingredients:

2 large eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 box (18.25 oz.) spice cake mix

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup oats

1 cup Sun-Maid Natural Raisins

1/2 cup pecan pieces (optional)

2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup decorative or coarse sugar (optional)

Directions:

1. PREHEAT oven to 375 degrees. Spray baking pan with cooking spray; set aside.

2. COMBINE eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat on low, until combined.

3. ADD spice cake mix and brown sugar. Beat on low until dough comes together. (Dough will be dense.)

4. STIR in oats, raisins and pecans separately.

5. SPREAD dough into prepared pan.

6. BAKE for 20-25 minutes.

7. REMOVE from oven and let cool. Cut into bars to serve.

Optional: Sprinkle desired amount of coarse or decorative sugar over dough mixture for added decoration before baking.

Yield: 24 bars

Oatmeal cookie bars are an easy, healthy and delicious snack.

 

Celebrity Chef, Winery Blend Best of Both Worlds

Much like the chicken and the egg conundrum, those with a palate for fine wine and good food often debate whether it is the wine that makes food taste better or the other way around. Either way, one cooking expert is showing that the two actually bring out the best in each other.

Celebrity Chef, Winery Blend Best of Both Worlds

Much like the chicken and the egg conundrum, those with a palate for fine wine and good food often debate whether it is the wine that makes food taste better or the other way around. Either way, one cooking expert is showing that the two actually bring out the best in each other.

In a new venture with Viansa Winery & Italian Marketplace, celebrity chef Curtis Aikens hopes to enlighten both diners and would-be culinary artisans to the wonders of cooking and eating with wine. A pioneer in "California Italian Nouveau" cuisine, Aikens will be creating signature dishes and food products for the winery. His Recipe, Preparation, Serving, Food Cooking Menus will appear in Viansa's monthly publication, Tuscan Club Magazine.

Viansa is a destination winery at the entrance to the Sonoma Valley Wine Country. In addition to offering an array of award-winning California varietals, Viansa is the premier producer of Italian varietals in the United States. The winery is marketed by the publicly traded 360 Global Wine Company (www.360wines.com).

This year, Viansa Winery was rated by the Sonoma radio station KVON 1440 as "The Best Wine Country Experience" in Sonoma.

Aikens' achievements include a number of published books, appearances on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "Entertainment Tonight" and a regular guest spot on "Good Morning America." He has been a food consultant to the U.S. Open tennis tournament, the New York City Plaza Hotel and the United Nations.

The following Recipe, Preparation, Serving, Food Cooking Menu is an example of Aikens' culinary creativity. This dish pairs well with Viansa "Pierina" Vernaccia, Arneis or Chardonnay, he says.

VIANSA CHICKEN

ROLLATINE

(Makes 4 servings)

2 large chicken breasts, sliced

in half lengthwise to make

four strips

1 1/2 tablespoons Cucina

Viansa Roasted Red

Pepper Pesto

1 1/2 tablespoons Cucina

Viansa Sun-Dried

Tomato Pesto

1 1/2 tablespoons Cucina

Viansa Artichoke Pesto


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Flatten chicken pieces with a mallet or the bottom of an empty wine bottle.

Spread 1 teaspoon of each pesto evenly over each piece of chicken. Roll up the chicken strips and close with toothpicks.

Bake chicken rolls in oven for 10 minutes, then lower temperature to 350 degrees and bake 20 minutes longer. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing into rings to serve.

 

Chef John Folse On How To Cook Delicious Shrimp

Famous Louisiana Chef John Folse is a man with a deep, warm voice. And when he speaks about Louisiana food, there's no doubt where his heart is.

Chef John Folse On How To Cook Delicious Shrimp

Famous Louisiana Chef John Folse is a man with a deep, warm voice. And when he speaks about Louisiana food, there's no doubt where his heart is.

"Eating in Louisiana is a religion; it's not just about nutrition," Chef Folse says. "It's an in-gathering; it's celebratory; it's a prayer of thanks for all we've been blessed with from the swamp."

John Folse grew up just east of the Atchafalaya Swamp and lost his mother as a young boy. His father raised six boys and two girls as a single parent. One of the things Mr. Folse felt he needed to teach his children was to be good cooks.

And their first lesson was that only the freshest foods yield their true flavors. "He really taught us to refuse anything less than great taste," Chef says.

To serve the freshest foods, you need to know what's in season. "When it's brown shrimp season, you eat brown shrimp. When it's white shrimp season, you eat white shrimp. When it's strawberry season, you eat strawberries," Chef chuckles.

Locals call brown shrimp season Bonne Crevette-translation, good shrimp! The season begins in May and runs until fall. Even during Bonne Crevette, you need to know how to select the very best quality.

Well-taught cooks only purchase whole, in-shell, raw shrimp when they're displayed on a thick bed of fresh ice-not melting-under a cover. The shrimp meats must be firm to the touch, not soft. The shells must be translucent and moist, not dull or dry.

Learning to capture the legendary taste of brown shrimp also means learning a sense of timing. "A lot of people are worried they will undercook shrimp," Chef says, "but the real crime would be to overcook it and boil out all of the flavor and texture."

Follow these tips and your shrimp are sure to yield their true Louisiana flavors.

So, celebrate Bonne Crevette with Chef Folse's Shrimp Scampi. "Try this dish. It's an easy, traditional shrimp Recipe, Preparation, Serving, Food Cooking Menu. And it's one of my favorites."

Chef explains that although scampi is a term used elsewhere to describe a species of shrimp, in America it refers to an Italian dish. This simple Recipe, Preparation, Serving, Food Cooking Menu is magnificent when served over pasta, fish or chicken.

For an excellent wine pairing, enjoy Shrimp Scampi with a glass of lovely Alice White Chardonnay.

Chef John Folse's Shrimp Scampi

11/2 pounds (20-25 count) Louisiana shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2 cup flour

Salt & cracked black pepper to taste

Tabasco Pepper Sauce to taste

1/2 cup olive oil

6 cloves garlic, sliced

1/4 cup shallots, chopped

2 tbsp fresh basil

2 tbsp fresh oregano

1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced

1/4 cup parsley, minced

1/2 cup dry white wine

In a mixing bowl, blend flour, salt and peppers. Dust shrimp lightly in seasoned flour and set aside. In a large sauté pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic, sauté 1-2 minutes or until edges turn golden. Blend in shrimp, shallots, basil and oregano. Using a slotted spoon, turn shrimp occasionally until pink and curled. Add mushrooms and parsley, then deglaze with white wine. Serves 4.




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